Recently I'd done two blog entries about where the Wizards would play their home games in 2007. With all the recent developments lately on where they'll play, I felt it would be a good time to revisit this issue, as the season grows ever closer.
The first blog I did about the issue. Came out after the superintendent of the Ray-Pec school district came out and said they were out of the running and that the Wizards were going to play somewhere in Olathe. From the 6 sites I listed in that blog, the only one that was located in Olathe was College Boulevard Activity Center. This led me to believe that the Wizards were possibly going to this site, which seemed to be a favorite among many Wizards fans.
The second, and more recent blog I did, involved the Wizards returning to Arrowhead for the 2007 season, as the renovations to the facility would not involve the seating area. With this info and some information about who the Wizards were talking with about concessions, it seemed like the Wizards could be going back to Arrowhead. Another option that pleased Wizards fans, as it meant that the fans to tailgate with alcoholic beverages if they so choose to.
Now we get up to the present, where we have some new information that has come out. Recently on bigsoccer, a person that teaches in the Ray-Pec school district posted two bits of information (one, two) that he found out about the Wizards still possibly coming to play in Ray-Pec. Not the best location for many of the Wizards fans, in the voting of the 6 locations I listed in my first blog on this topic, Ray-Pec did not fair very well as a location. One thing I found out that works against Ray-Pec is that supposedly no contracts have put in bids yet to work on adding the extra seating that would need to be added to the stadium. This process and the process of ordering the supplies can take at the least, 2 months, which would be pushing the them to be done by Cinco de Mayo, the date of the Wizards first home game. I don't know if all this is 100%, but does make the next bit of information more interesting.
The second bit of interesting information, came last night, from Metro Sports, a local sports network. Metro Sports was reporting that the Wizards would be playing their 2007 home games back at Arrowhead stadium, instead of temporary facility. As I had stated in my blog earlier, Arrowhead is still a viable option due to the type of renovations that will be occurring in 2007 at Arrowhead. The Wizards would though still have to find a home for 2008, and that coudl still be any of the sites I listed, or 2 more that Metro Sports listed that I had never even heard about being in the running, William Chrisman High School and Truman High School, both in Independence.
Finally today, to try and put some of the rumors to rest, this message was posted on bigsoccer, from Robb Heineman, the Wizards President. This is good news for Wizards fans, as it will finally bring to a close to the situation, although many Wizards fans are rightfully cautionous and won't believe it "until they get their tickets."
One last thing I wanted to touch on from the Metro Sports article, was the second to last paragraph in the article I linked above. Apparently the Wizards are interested in the Bannister Mall site in South KC. As rumors around KC have swirled on some other forums and outlets around KC as well about the possiblity of the Bannister site. Another one. A Third. This is a topic that will continue to be looked at and speculated on. Personally, I'm not sure what to think of the idea. It's a good location for a stadium, but my worry is the stigma, assumptions, or predeterminations that people have about the area, particularly Johnson County residents (people the Wizards try to get to attend games). The assumption is that the area is high crime and a "ghetto." This worries me in that it will likely keep people from wanting to attend the games.